du Lac policies facing possible revisions

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the first installment of a two-part series examining disciplinary policies and possible revisions to du Lac, the student handbook.When Alumni resident Zach Reuvers was sent to the Office of Residence Life and Housing (ORLH) for a disciplinary conference as a sophomore, he didn’t know what to expect.Reuvers, now a junior, was caught breaking parietals at 2:30 a.m. on a weekday. The next morning, he consulted du Lac, the student handbook, to learn about his punishment from ORLH, commonly called a “ResLife.”“This was my first time [facing a disciplinary conference], and I really didn’t know what I was up against,” Reuvers said. “I was thinking, ‘am I going to get removed from my dorm, kicked off campus, put on University probation?’”Reuvers said the vague wording in du Lac about the punishments for parietals violations — the handbook cites expulsion as a possible punishment — was problematic for him going through the process for the first time.Associate Vice President for Residence Life Bill Kirk said the University began a “major revision” of du Lac in the fall of 2007, and the administration is seeking input from student government and the student body.Student body president Grant Schmidt said student government is discussing possible changes to du Lac in several areas, including alcohol policy, disciplinary sanctions and sexual assault.“We are talking about things students care about,” Schmidt said. “We’re not just talking about, ‘Hey, we don’t want to see students punished as much.’ We just want to make sure the punishments are accurate and deserved.”Kirk said the wording for parietals violations is one of the segments of the handbook currently under examination.For parietals, the handbook currently states: “Overnight parietal violations are considered serious violations, and students who commit such violations shall be subject to disciplinary suspension or permanent dismissal.”The University does not allow students to be in the dorm room of a member of the opposite sex between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekends.“You just don’t know what is going to happen because du Lac is pretty vague, and it pretty much lets [ORLH] have full discretion,” Reuvers said on facing the consequences for his parietals violation.Calling himself a “ResLife vet,” Reuvers said he has faced disciplinary sanctions from ORLH three times. The first two were disciplinary conferences and the third was an administrative hearing.Reuvers said sitting through the administrative hearing was an “intense” experience. He met with the complete ORLH staff and was questioned repeatedly about the events that led him to the hearing.“When you go into there, nobody’s your friend. You’re assumed to be guilty,” he said. “So it was scary, but at the same time it’s reality, and you have to take those things seriously.”There are currently two types of methods listed in du Lac used by the ORLH to discipline students: disciplinary conferences and administrative hearings. Students receive a letter informing them which method will be used.In a disciplinary conference, a student meets with one or multiple staff members from ORLH to “investigate, discuss and resolve the alleged violation,” du Lac states.The student can receive punishments ranging from a warning to disciplinary probation.Disciplinary suspension and permanent dismissal cannot be issued at a conference, and are reserved for administrative hearings.An administrative hearing, the more serious of the sanctions, requires the student to meet with two or three ORLH staff members. The full range of punishments is available to be issued, du Lac states.After the student attends a disciplinary conference or an administrative hearing, he or she is required to write a personal statement before ORLH makes its decision, Judicial Council peer advocate John Saulitis said.The Judicial Council peer advocacy program offers advice to students facing disciplinary sanctions and can sit in on the meetings but cannot speak on the students’ behalf.Saulitis said a student has certain rights during the disciplinary process that many do not know about. For example, students can schedule a meeting with someone from ORLH to look at their disciplinary file.Students are also allowed to have a peer advocate or friend come in with them to the meeting, although the peer is not allowed to have a speaking role, Saulitis said.“You can have someone come with you and sit in the meeting with you,” he said.Saulitis said the number one advice he gives to students who are going through the disciplinary with ORLH is to tell the truth.“I think anybody can tell when someone is being fake,” he said. “Be honest. Accept responsibly for what you did. Show that you’ve made a concerted effort to think about what you’ve done.”Saulitis said he also recommends students try to relax during their meeting.“It’s not the end of the world,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of the cases at Notre Dame, you don’t get expelled. You’ve got to be able to relax because the people who do get expelled are really nervous and don’t know what to do and don’t handle it well.“If you get worked up [during your meeting with ORLH,] be able to step a back and breathe and get back in the rhythm of things again,” Saulitis said.Kirk said the Office of Residence Life hopes to get feedback on du Lac revisions from student government. Schmidt said student government will recommend revisions to du Lac, specifically regarding alcohol and disciplinary policies.“Our job is just to help them better understand the culture and help them understand how students act,” Schmidt said. The second and final installment of this series will examine possible changes to the policies in du Lac. It will run in tomorrow’s Observer.last_img read more


University, police, students react to arrests

first_imgThe second major police raid last weekend resulted in a broken-down door, landed a police officer in the hospital and brought the total number of alcohol-related arrests since students returned to school to nearly 60. The incident, in which students reportedly refused to open the door and one person punched and kicked an officer while resisting arrest, sent 35 people to jail. The recent trend to arrest — rather than cite — students for underage drinking has caught the attention of both students and the University. University spokesman Dennis Brown said the administration is working to address the issue. “We clearly don’t condone underage drinking or gatherings that infringe on the rights of others,” Brown said. “At the same time, the welfare of our students is our highest priority. “We have concerns about the handling of some recent incidents that we are actively addressing through appropriate channels.” Indiana State Excise Police busted a party on Turtle Creek Drive Sunday morning and arrested 32 people for minor consuming alcohol, one person for public intoxication and one person for furnishing alcohol to minors. One person was also arrested for resisting law enforcement, battery to a police officer, disorderly conduct and minor consuming alcohol. Tim Cleveland, excise police commander for the district, said many of those arrested were Notre Dame students, but he could not confirm that all were students. The excise police were in the area of the party because South Bend police asked them to check a location of another party. When officers arrived, the party they had been called for was not occurring, but they discovered the party on Turtle Creek Drive, Cleveland said. “They stumbled across the one at Turtle Creek,” he said. Meanwhile, South Bend police received a call for trespassing at the same party. “There were individuals who were climbing the fence to gain access to the pool, which was closed,” Cleveland said. South Bend and excise police officers were denied access to the apartment and waited for two hours to obtain a search warrant. Once the warrant was obtained, the residents continued to deny officers entry and South Bend police broke down the door. Cleveland said officers decided to arrest rather than issue citations for underage drinking because of the resistance they encountered. “They still didn’t open the door even though they knew we had a search warrant,” he said. “Then when we did gain access into the residence, people were hiding in closets and everywhere else that they could find.” A police officer was injured when one person resisted arrest. He spent most of Sunday at South Bend Memorial Hospital. “He was punched, he was kicked and he did some damage to his knee,” Cleveland said. Cleveland encouraged students to cooperate if they encounter law enforcement officials. While underage drinking is an arrest-able offense, officers are less likely to incarcerate with cooperation, he said. “It’s a higher likelihood that you’ll be incarcerated if you try to hide and attempt to destroy evidence and fail to cooperate,” Cleveland said. “It is not our policy to incarcerate everybody that we encounter that is consuming alcohol underage.” The recent influx in arrests for underage drinking has many students on edge. Junior Sarah Beringer said “a ton of people are talking about it.” “A lot of people are more scared,” she said. “And some are really pissed off.” Junior Nick Grasberger said he has noticed a large increase in incidents. “This year, so many more people have been arrested as opposed to just written up,” he said. “This year is unprecedented to the point where you don’t really feel safe anywhere.” The large number of arrests has driven students to change their habits when it comes to weekend activities. For Beringer, it means staying sober when venturing off campus. For Grasberger, who lives in St. Edward’s Hall, it sometimes means not going off campus at all. “We’ve had a couple parties in St. Ed’s as opposed to just going straight off campus,” he said. “Then when I have gone off campus, I haven’t stayed anywhere too long.” Grasberger said the arrests are especially notable because there may be other crimes occurring in the area that could have more of an impact. “The South Bend police are not focusing on the things that are important for law enforcement. When you’re out busting parties to get money at the expense of preventing actual crime in a town where crime is a real issue, then that’s a problem,” he said. “The priorities of legal authorities have to be elsewhere.”last_img read more


Mass honors firefighters, police

first_imgBy CATHERINE OWERS News Writer University President Fr. John Jenkins celebrated a Blue Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Thursday in honor of firefighters and police officers.  The Blue Mass honors not only Notre Dame Security Police and Notre Dame Fire Department, but also personnel from local and nationwide departments, fire chief Bruce Harrison said.  “Notre Dame Security Police and the Notre Dame Fire Department are the hosts and represent the University, and then [they] encourage anyone who wants to participate to come,” Harrison said. “Particularly [police and fire personnel] in the region – St. Joseph County and beyond – we try to invite in.” Harrison said the Mass especially honored police officers and firefighters who have passed away in the last year, both in the line of duty and after their retirement.  “We like to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the passing of all the retirees in our ‘family,’ so to speak,” he said. According to the Notre Dame Fire Department website, the Blue Mass is named for the color of uniforms that many police officers and firefighters nationwide wear. The Mass was first celebrated at Notre Dame as the traditional ‘month’s mind’ Mass for victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Blue Mass continues for them and for the police officers, firefighters and rescue workers who have died while serving and protecting others.  The guest speaker at this year’s Blue Mass, George Hernandez, is a firefighter from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and was a member of the United States Forest Service as a hotshot firefighter, Harrison said. He said hotshot firefighters gained recognition last summer when 19 members of an elite group in Arizona died. “They were out trying to protect property and got caught in what they call a burn-over,” Harrison said. “The number of loss of life is particularly astounding.”That was a very tragic event for our wildlife community. And see how quickly it has lost focus” “We like to think that since we are common in cause, we provide an opportunity to remember [the hotshot crew] and understand the hardships their families are going through without them.” Harrison said he hopeseNotre Dame will continue to host an annual Blue Mass.  “It is a somber occasion, but it is meaningful to try and capture that spirit of remembrance, and I think that this is what it’s all about,” he said. Contact Catherine Owers at cowers@nd.edulast_img read more


Group discusses election changes

first_imgSaint Mary’s student senate met Tuesday night to discuss changes to election policies and upcoming events on campus.Student body president Kat Sullivan said the goal for the alteration of election policies “is to establish a better understanding of the policies both for the candidates and the student body as a whole.”Senate members voted to implement changes to election policies, including permitting abroad students to campaign with a present Saint Mary’s student. Sullivan said Feb. 26 is the deadline for all campaign materials. Students can submit materials through an elections portal on OrgSync, she said.“Every candidate that is running will have to sign something saying that they have read these policies and they agree to abide by these terms,” student body vice president Maddy Martin said.Heritage Week at Saint Mary’s will begin Feb. 3, and various events will take place on campus, including a Heritage Week dinner in the Stapleton Lounge, saidCarmen Cardenas, president of the Student Diversity Board.Throughout the week, students will be encouraged to share their heritage, she said.“Any sort of Heritage – you could be the first person ever to attend Saint Mary’s, but you just want to write about how much you love Saint Mary’s,” Cardenas said.Cardenas said students who write admirable stories about their heritage will receive prizes, and the winners will be announced at the heritage dinner.An event titled, “Sugar Makes the World Go ‘Round,” will bring international desserts to the Noble Family Dining Hall on Feb. 6, Cardenas said. Following Heritage Week will be Women’s Appreciation Week, beginning Feb. 24, with the Diverse Student Leadership Conference (DSLC), taking place March 25 to 26.The DSLC will have two keynote speakers: Faisal Alam, a gay, Pakistani-American, and Kevin Powell, Cardenas said.Cardenas said a Saint Mary’s professor’s survey has found that diversity is not a popular conversation topic at the College.“On the worst points, Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff have shown that there is not enough talk about religious diversity or sexual orientation,” she said.The goal of the conference will be to create dialogue on these subjects among Saint Mary’s students, Cardenas said.Martin said another event to look forward to is “Women Honoring Women,” to take place in April.“‘Women Honoring Women’ is a night where students can nominate a faculty member or someone who’s had an impact on their life at Saint Mary’s,” she said.Martin said students and their nominees are invited to a dinner where a nominee is voted Woman of the Year.last_img read more


Circle K serves community beyond

first_imgSaint Mary’s Circle K chapter participates in weekly community service projects that serve the South Bend community, from tutoring and providing meals at the South Bend Center for the Homeless, to working with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and hosting a variety of events for The Sisters of the Holy Cross Covenant located on the Saint Mary’s Campus.Junior Jaclyn Voltz, president of Circle K, said the organization, sponsored by Kiwanis International, chooses volunteer projects based on certain goals.“Circle K clubs focus on the three tenets of service, fellowship and leadership,” she said.Voltz said the goal of the club is to give back to the South Bend community.“Service is the heart of Saint Mary’s College Circle K,” she said. “We are dedicated to providing a variety of service opportunities that reflect the interests of our members and the needs of the South Bend community.“There are service projects each week varying in date, time, length and focus. Our projects span a wide range of interests including children, education, healthcare, elderly, hunger, housing, animal care and environmental issues.”Voltz said one of the club’s regular activities is assisting nuns at the Sisters of the Holy Cross Convent on campus.“Every Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Circle K volunteers go to the Sisters of the Holy Cross Convent to socialize with the nuns and provide activities for the sisters – game show nights, craft projects, Notre Dame football tailgate parties, bingo and social nights,” she said.“The sisters truly appreciate the company and have so many incredible stories to share. Circle K members are also active at the Center for the Homeless preparing and serving meals.”Kathleen Dunn, a first year student and Circle K member, said she enjoys volunteering with the club because the activities are “creative.”“During the fall semester we hosted a milkshake and Pictionary night, as well as a reverse Trick or Treat session for the sisters. … Volunteering with Circle K at the convent is a great way to connect with women who have lived adventurous and meaningful lives. They have a lot to teach us.”According to the Circle K website, upcoming events include the Hannah & Friends Karaoke Night and the Chicago March for Babies, a walk that will take place on the lakefront trail in Chicago on April 26.For those interested in joining the club, the group meets weekly on Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. in the Le Mans Hall basement, according to the Circle K website.last_img read more


Alumnus examines technology in business

first_imgLloyd Adams, chief operating officer of SAP Americas’ Regulated Industries, spoke Friday at the Mendoza College of Business as part of the “Ten Years Hence Speaker Series: The Future of Energy.”The series aims to “explore issues, ideas and trends likely to affect business and society over the next decade,” according to Mendoza’s website description of the series. Adams speech discussed the technological advantage in examining the changing business world.“You really should stop and take pause, and wonder, where you’re going to go from here,” Adams said to begin his lecture.Although he focused on the increasing uses of technological advances in the business world, Adams also emphasized the importance of individual fulfillment in your career. Adams graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in marketing.He said to always stop and ensure that you are happy in that moment and that you are giving everything back you can.Adams began working for SAP 16 years ago. He attributed his continuance with the company to his leading role in the harnessing of big data to boost all spectrums of business.”In the last five years, more data has been created than ever before … which presents huge opportunity if approached right,” he said.“Cloud, big data, and networks are what companies are moving towards.”Analyzing the direction of these companies, Adams said we are “a world of real time engagement moving towards a segment of one.”Adams said SAP’s mission is to help organizations become best-run businesses and their passions are based on teamwork, integrity, accountability and professionalism.“Technology and innovation are driving the four most essential dimensions of business: customers, employees, resources and networks,” Adams said. “The ability to explore new possibilities has changed SAP as a company.”Due to the implementation of technology into the business world, companies are enabled to create previously unimaginable applications and to rethink new ways to run their businesses, Adams said.“Wherever you go, you’re going to have to embrace technology and try to harness your technological ability,” Adams said.He said we should not fear technology, but rather use it to improve our lives.Though his lecture focused on the increasing use of technology in business, Adams made sure to leave his audience with more than just background on what SAP does.“When looking three or five years hence, look to go somewhere where you would be proud to work at and someplace where you can change the game and bring it to the next level,” Adams said.Adams said he would recommend for students to really think about where it is you want to go with your life and career and not settle for the first job they are offered. ”Be deliberate,” Adams said. “Be selfish. Make sure where you’re going is some place you would want to get up on a stage and talk about.”Tags: Mendozalast_img read more


Students travel to Mardi Gras

first_imgMardi Gras is traditionally celebrated the Tuesday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. However, some Notre Dame students celebrated early by traveling to New Orleans last weekend to participate in the festivities.“Something that many people don’t realize is that Mardi Gras Day actually marks the end of weeks of celebration. The season officially starts on Jan. 6, ‘The Feast of the Epiphany,’” Elizabeth Owers, a senior from New Orleans, said. “The timing can vary depending on the length of the season, but generally the balls will be held during January, and most parades happen the two weeks before Mardi Gras.”Mariana Tumminello, a freshman from New Orleans, returned to New Orleans a few weekends ago for the ball of the Krewe of Janus. She said a krewe is an organization that puts on a ball and/or parade for the carnival season. Tumminello was Queen of the Ball, a position that she was put up for when she was five years old, she said.“This year, three of my friends from New Orleans came home for the ball with me. One of them, Courtney Denault, was a maid in my court. I also was able to bring four friends [from Notre Dame] back with me so they could come to the ball and experience a little bit of Mardi Gras,” Tumminello said.Tumminello said her favorite traditions included king cake, parades and watching the tourists.“Every year my entire family comes in town and we stay at a hotel downtown so we can go walk around the French Quarter and all be together, while my dad and my uncles ride in a parade called Hermes,” Tumminello said.Although Tumminello and Owers were not able to return home for the actual holiday of Mardi Gras, Tumminello said she plans to wear her purple, green and gold shirt and beads on Tuesday to connect with the celebration at home.“When you are not in New Orleans, it is very different. Tourists think Mardi Gras is a crazy drunk party … but it’s actually a very family-oriented event,” she said. “I’ve grown up going to parades with family, going to Mardi Gras parties with friends and just enjoying one of the most exciting times in my hometown.”Owers also said Mardi Gras is misrepresented as a holiday.“The images of drunken debauchery on Bourbon Street are not at all representative of most parades – they’re loud and crowded, but they’re a lot of fun and many areas are family friendly,” she said. “I loved being able to march and dance down the parade route, see my friends and family, and be part of such a unique tradition.“At its core, Mardi Gras is a community event that brings people together and allows them to spend a few days just celebrating life.” Tags: Mardi Gras, New Orleanslast_img read more


University abandons plans to establish joint college in China

first_imgThe University is no longer pursuing plans to establish a joint college with Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China, according to a letter addressed to faculty from J. Nicholas Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for internationalization, sent Monday morning.Eric Richelsen Although Notre Dame will continue to foster a relationship with ZJU through exchange programs and research projects, the two universities decided not to embark on the joint venture due to challenges that arose during the deliberation process, Entrikin said in the letter.“After many hopeful and positive conversations on both curricular and administrative matters related to the joint college, we were more easily able to discriminate and to delineate some of the key challenges as well as advantages in bringing together two very different approaches to higher education,” Entrikin said. “Thorough effort was expended in addressing these complexities, and at times the conversations showed exhilarating signs of progress.“In the end, however, some areas remained challenging for both universities, and we decided that broader cooperation would be a more effective means for achieving our common interests.”Entrikin and Jonathan Noble, acting executive director for the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, wrote a white paper addressed to Notre Dame faculty members in October 2014 explaining the possible collaboration between the two schools.The white paper said the joint liberal arts college aimed to “advance Notre Dame’s global academic reputation; promote worldwide Notre Dame’s unique and successful blend of teaching, research and service and offer opportunities for Notre Dame faculty and students to gain valuable experience teaching and studying in China.”According to the original white paper proposal, the Notre Dame-ZJU joint liberal arts college would have opened the 2017-2018 academic year. The student body would have been composed of 70 percent Chinese students and 30 percent international students. The college’s faculty would have been composed of members from both universities, and graduating students would have received a joint degree from both Notre Dame and ZJU.Over the past two years, faculty advisory delegations from both universities have made multiple campus visits — to both South Bend and Haining — to examine the project, Entrikin said. The committee reached its final conclusion after the most recent visit to China, made by a delegation that included Entrikin, University President Fr. John Jenkins, Vice President for Mission Engagement and Church Affairs Fr. William Lies and several members of the Board of Trustees.Entrikin said both universities have “gained a more comprehensive mutual understanding” and have agreed to continue discussions about future forms of collaboration. This summer, the University will host eight ZJU rising seniors participating in Notre Dame International’s iSURE program, which allows international students to participate in engineering and science research on campus.Ultimately, Entrikin said the experience has helped the University plan and develop current and new international programs, especially those in China.“Our Zhejiang colleagues now better understand what it means to be an excellent Catholic university, and we now better understand the academic achievements and aspirations of one of China’s leading universities,” he said. “On the foundation of this newly acquired shared understanding, we may now begin to proceed rapidly in building substantial and innovative partnership programs that will benefit both of our academic communities.”Tags: China, joint college, Zhejiang partnership, zhejiang University, ZJUlast_img read more


Saint Mary’s student body president, vice president reflect on year

first_imgWhen seniors Kaitlyn Baker and Maddie Kohler took office as student body president and vice president in August, their goal was to improve numerous aspects of campus life, including security and communications between the student body and the administration. “Our goals were to improve safety for the students on and off campus, provide more opportunities for the student body, student government and administration, and enhance already existing campus events and improve student participation at these events,” Kohler said.Baker said the two worked hard to be present on campus and address the needs of the student body. “We hosted a community dialogue event in collaboration with [Student Diversity Board], we met with [College president Carol Ann Mooney] to discuss student concerns and we reached out to many students who openly expressed concerns on social media,” she said.During their one year term, Kohler and Baker were tasked with many duties and roles on campus. Baker said she was surprised by her role as a liaison between the student body and the administration.“I didn’t expect to be so involved with administration and sit on many committees where I had the ability to vote,” she said. “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to provide the student perspective at those meetings.”Kohler said she did not anticipate the recognition that comes along with being a leader on campus. “I was so surprised to have everyone from administration, students, alumnae and even the Board of Trustees say hello and genuinely ask how everything is going within the student government association [SGA],” she said.Kohler said that while they were able to improve communication on campus, the two are most proud of their executive board and committee chairs’ accomplishments.“We had an amazing group this year and would not have been so successful without their hard work and dedication,” Kohler said. “We hope the events they hosted, speakers they brought in and enthusiasm they had enhanced the Saint Mary’s experience for the student body.”Kohler said flexibility is an important trait to have as SGA vice president.“You go into office and have all these goals you want to accomplish,” she said. “As time progresses, other issues arise that you need to deal with first and some of your goals are put on the back burner and that is OK. Some things are more important than others.”Baker said she advises the incoming president to enjoy every moment of her time as a leader on campus.“It goes by really fast and it is very easy to get caught up in the hard work and stress of it all,” she said. “Make sure you take the time to enjoy the experience.”Baker said her time as president gave her the chance to become involved in different areas of the College.“I will miss getting to be so invested in the Saint Mary’s community,” she said. “The College has become a large part of who I am, and I really enjoyed getting to leave my legacy at Saint Mary’s.”Baker, who majored in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, will be attending the University of Northern Colorado to receive a master’s degree in speech language pathology, and Kohler, who majored in business administration and economics, will move to Chicago to work for PepsiCo. Tags: Commencement 2016, Kaitlyn Baker, Maddie Kohler, saint mary’s, sgalast_img read more


Philadelphia Archbishop examines religion’s role in politics

first_imgThe Tocqueville Program is a relatively new organization at Notre Dame — founded only in 2009 — that seeks to promote the study of religion and politics. The program organizes conferences, symposia and research on religious liberty.The Program hosted its inaugural lecture on religious liberty Thursday. Rev. Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, gave a lecture titled “Sex, Family and the Liberty of the Church: Authentic Freedom in Our Emancipated Age.”Chaput began his lecture by emphasizing Catholic beliefs about life and the goal of getting into Heaven.“Life is a gift — not an accident — and the point of a life is to become the kind of fully human person who knows and loves God above everything else and reflects that love to others,” Chaput said.Chaput used this view of life to express concern over the 2016 presidential election.“Only God knows the human heart,” he said. “I presume that both major candidates for the White House this year intend well and have a reasonable level of personal decency behind their public images, but I also believe that each candidate is very bad news for our country.”“One candidate, in the view of lots of people, is a belligerent demagogue with an impulse-control problem, and the other — also in the view of a lot of people — is a criminal liar, uniquely rich in stale ideas and bad priorities,” Chaput said.According to Chaput, Christians cannot view politics with cynicism. He said there are many honest politicians who do work for the public good and if Christians were to leave the political arena, others with worse intentions would remain.“The political vocation matters because, done well, it can ennoble the society it serves,” Chaput said.He said Christians need to become increasingly active in politics by focusing on the kind of people that they are.“Changing the country first means changing ourselves,” Chaput said.According to Chaput, his experiences hearing confessions shaped his view on family life.“When you spend several thousand hours of your life … hearing the failures and hurts in peoples’ lives — men who beat their wives, women who cheat on their husbands, the addicts to porn, or alcohol, or drug, thieves, the hopeless, the self-satisfied and the self-hating — you get a pretty good picture of the world as it really is and its effect on the human soul,” Chaput said.He expressed concern over the effect of a dramatic increase in the number of people confessing to sexual promiscuity, infidelity, sexual violence and sexual confusion.“Sex is a basic appetite and human instinct,” he said. “Sexuality is tied intimately to who we are, how we search for love and happiness, how we defeat the pervasive loneliness in life and, for most people, how we claim some little bit of permanence in a world and a story by having children.“The truth about our sexuality is that infidelity, promiscuity, sexual confusion and mass pornography, by tens of millions of persons over five decades, destroys lives. Then, compound it with the media nonsense about the innocence of casual sex and the happy children of friendly divorces — what you get is what we now have a dysfunctional culture of frustrated and wounded people increasingly incapable of permanent commitment.”Chaput said this incapability of commitment has severe political consequences. In his view, people that are too weak to rule themselves and their passions will become ruled by other people, compromising their freedom.“Sooner or later, they surrender themselves to a state that compensates for their narcissism and immaturity with its own form of social control,” he said.According to Chaput, millennials’ reluctance to have children is troubling for the future. He said sexually selfish and weak people create broken families that contribute to a dysfunctional cycle.“Only a mother and a father can offer the unique kind of human love rooted in flesh and blood, the kind that comes from mutual submission and self-giving, the kind that comes from complementarity of sexual difference,” Chaput said.This type of relationship is necessary to instill good values in children, according to Chaput. He said society’s values and problems — crime, bad schools and unemployment — make it difficulty to raise children, which has political consequences played out in the government.“In Catholic thought, government has a role to play is easing [crime, education and unemployment] problems, but not if a government works from a crippled idea of who man is, what marriage is and what a family is, and not if a government deliberately shapes its policies to interfere with and control the mediating institutions in civil society that already serve the public well — the family and the Church,” he said.Tags: Archbishop of Philadelphia, Catholicism, Rev. Charles J. Chaput, Tocqueville Programlast_img read more